Mazda has already announced plans to unveil a brand new crossover at the Geneva Motor Show, but it turns out there's another one in the pipeline set to satiate the appetites of a crossover-mad U.S. market. Speaking at the Chicago Auto Show, Mazda North America CEO Masahiro Moro told reporters the brand has another model planned for production at the $1.6 billion plant under construction with joint-venture partner Toyota in Huntsville, Ala.
It'll be "a new crossover SUV which is exclusively designed for the North American market," Automotive News quoted Moro as saying. While it'll be a different product from the one debuting next month in Geneva, the two vehicles will share some architecture. The company is reportedly still finalizing the concept for it.
Currently, Mazda sells three crossovers in the U.S.: the subcompact CX-3, the compact CX-5 and the larger CX-9. Together, the three vehicles, which constitute half of the tiny automaker's vehicle lineup, posted sales of 195,778 for 2018, up 15.8 percent from 2017. They accounted for nearly two-thirds of the brand's total vehicle sales of 300,325.
Production is expected to start at the new Alabama plant in mid-2021, Moro said, and add capacity for 150,000 units of crossovers. The plant is expected to employ up to 4,000 workers with a total capacity of 300,000 vehicles a year. Toyota plans to build the Corolla there alongside Mazda's crossovers.
Mazda last week released the teaser pic shown above of its forthcoming new crossover headed for Geneva. It could be the next and slightly larger version of the CX-3, which will use the Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture that also supports the new Mazda3.